Moroni 10:1-7 “I Would Exhort You”
Again, Moroni sets forth to write “unto [his] brethren, the Lamanites” (verse 1), and his message is also for all other future readers. Moroni 10:3-5 may be the most quoted scripture verses of our day, and with good reason. Those who know these verses well and have a firm testimony of the Book of Mormon may yet be benefitted by another close look:
- The word exhort (used in verses 2, 3, 4, plus six more times in this chapter), means to strongly urge someone to do something.
- In verse 3, Moroni exhorts us (1) to read the Book of Mormon, and along with reading, (2) to “remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things,” and (3) to “ponder it in your hearts.”
- As we ponder the Lord’s continuous mercy to all mankind, we also recognize His mercy, goodness, kindness, and love in our own lives. This puts us in a frame of mind and heart to seek and receive revelation from Him.
- In verse 4, we are exhorted (4) to “ask God … if these things are not true,” with several qualifiers: As we pray to God, we must (5) do so “in the name of Christ,” (6) “with a sincere heart,” (7) “with real intent,” and (8) having faith in Christ.”
- Those are important requirements. Not all people who make an attempt to ask God for a testimony of the Book of Mormon will receive an answer. Perhaps this is because He is too loving to give a testimony to someone who is not ready to receive and live by it, for in such a case a revelation from God could be burdensome and condemnatory. It is His way of protecting His children from further light until they are ready for it.
- Then the promise: “He will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost” (verse 4; see also verses 5, 7, wherein Moroni mentions God’s power four more times).
Do you know anyone (perhaps yourself) who has put “Moroni’s Promise” to the test? What was their experience?
Moroni 10:5-21 Gifts of the Spirit
The blessings and gifts of the Holy Ghost are mentioned throughout the scriptures, and this is one of three chapters (along with 1 Corinthians 13 and D&C 46) where there is a “list” of gifts; albeit partial—for the gifts of God are without number.
Besides specifically citing about a dozen gifts in verses 5-20 (to know truth; to acknowledge Christ; to teach wisdom and knowledge; to have exceedingly great faith; to heal; to work mighty miracles; to prophesy; to behold angels and ministering spirits; to speak, understand, and interpret languages and tongues; faith; hope; and charity), Moroni also adds the following about the gifts of the Spirit:
- God’s gifts and power in our lives work only according to our faith (verse 7; see also verses 23-24).
- We must not deny the reality of the gifts of God (verse 8).
- Gifts do not always manifest themselves in the same manner, for “there are different ways that these gifts are administered” (verse 8).
- The purpose of spiritual gifts is to “profit” us (verse 8). To claim or display a gift as a curiosity, or for entertainment, attention, or officiousness produces no profit to mankind. True gifts always render legitimate benefits to God’s children and to His work (see also D&C 46:9, 12).
- The gifts of the Spirit “come unto every man severally” (verse 17; apparently meaning that all may receive gifts, according to their faith and God’s will).
- “Every good gift cometh of Christ,” for He is the power and giver (verse 18; if there are “good gifts,” apparently there are also “evil” gifts, which come from Satan; see verse 30).
- Spiritual gifts will never be done away, unless mankind becomes overcome by unbelief (verse 19).
Think about spiritual gifts you have recognized in yourself, and how they have been manifested as you have sought to bless and serve others. In what ways have you been blessed by the spiritual gifts of others?
In verse 21, what three gifts or attributes did Moroni say are prerequisites for salvation in the kingdom of God?
Moroni 10:22 Despair
Those who are devoid of hope are in despair, and “despair cometh because of iniquity” (of course, there are people who feel they are in despair, but it is not due to their sins; leaving us with the conclusion that there is more than one definition of “despair”). This verse can be combined with Alma’s statement to his son, “wickedness never was happiness” (Alma 41:10). The best way to gain greater hope and happiness is to replace any iniquity in our lives with righteousness.
Moroni 10:24-34 Moroni’s Last Words
Moroni and his father Mormon addressed themselves repeatedly to spiritual naysayers of the last days in order to condemn denial of the Lord’s gifts, miracles, and works; as well as to invite all mankind to repent and come unto Christ (for example, see Mormon 3:17-22; Mormon 4:13-15, 22-24; Mormon 7:1-8; Mormon 8:17-22, 25-27, 33-41; Mormon 9:1-28; Ether 4:4-10, 18; Ether 5:4-6; Ether 8:20-26; Ether 12:6-9, 38-41; and Moroni 7:27-29, 35-37).
As you study Moroni 10:24-34:
- Make a list of Moroni’s final, great, bold, and forthright exhortations, declarations, warnings, invitations, and promises which he spoke “to all the ends of the earth” (verse 24). What stands out most for you, and why?
- Compare Moroni 10:27, 29 to 2 Nephi 33:11 and Ether 4:10; 5:6. What did these prophets know?
- According to Moroni 10:30-33, how do we “come unto Christ”? What is the role of “grace”?
- What impresses you about Moroni’s “farewell” in verse 34?
If you were asked today to share your testimony of the Book of Mormon, what would you say? How did you gain this testimony? Have you shared it with others?
How has the Book of Mormon helped you “get nearer to God”? (as spoken by the Prophet Joseph Smith; quoted in the Introduction to the Book of Mormon). What has this year’s study of the Book of Mormon done for you and for those who are close to you?